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Monday, October 20, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-20-2014

Toledo News-Bee, October 20, 1914:

Garry Herrmann, chairman of the national baseball commission, on Tuesday confirmed reports of a peace pact between the Federals and organized baseball when he declared that negotiations are on for the sale of the Chicago Cubs to Charles Weeghman, president of the Chi-feds.
...
Herrmann said he knew nothing of the reported deal for the taking over of the Brooklyn National league club by Robert Ward, owner of the Brooklyn Federals.

It’s interesting that the basic framework of the Federal League peace treaty was essentially in place a year before it actually happened. As Herrmann suggested was likely to be the case, Weeghman did buy the Cubs and Ward did not buy the Dodgers.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 20, 2014 at 09:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sielski: A friend fights for ex-Phillie Dick Allen’s Hall of Fame induction

Welcome back,
Your dreams were to knock Bill James out.

“Bill James,” Frog said. “That’s how it all started, I think. I’d like to punch him in the face.”

The author, historian, and sabermetrician, James wrote in 1984 that Allen “did more to keep his teams from winning than anyone else who ever played major league baseball.” As far as Frog’s concerned, that single sentence, from so influential a voice, has done more to damage Allen’s chances of induction than anything else. Yet time has hardly softened James’ stance.

“What seems to me to be unarguably true is that Dick Allen was a fantastically powerful disruptive force on the teams that he played for,” James wrote in a recent e-mail interview. “For people who are too young to remember, I think you could describe it as Terrell Owens times three. . . .

“So some ignorant . . . wants to punch me in the face about something I wrote 30 years ago, that’s life in the big city.”

Allen, of course, might change that perception merely by opening up more, but he won’t do it. Frog has talked to him about it. He has gotten nowhere.

It doesn’t bother Frog. It shouldn’t bother anyone, because whether Dick Allen gets into the Hall of Fame or even cares whether he gets into the Hall of Fame, the e-mails and the phone calls and the hours Frog has spent in front of that basement computer come down to something bigger, something everlasting, something more important than an athlete’s likeness immortalized on a bronze museum plaque.

Repoz Posted: October 18, 2014 at 09:32 PM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, phillies

On Paul DePodesta, Craig Wright, and rounding out the Dodgers narrative. | Inside the Dodgers

Craig Wright was a pioneer. It’s not easy being a pioneer.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2014 at 10:27 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history, sabermetrics

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tim Sommer: OCTOBER, 1969: THE NEW YORK METS INVENT ME

Back in 1969, a Mets pal of mine tried to start a “Rank and Pfeil Fan Club”...low membership etc, etc.

Before we believed in Beatles, before we believed in Kinks, before girls made us damp with tears or uselessly electric with desire, before we even dreamed of The City and its’ promise of midnight diners and the perfect glamour of sun-gleamed Pan Am buildings, we had baseball.

Before we were swept away by every passion that would occasionally or eternally define us, we were defined by our passion for baseball.

...And 45 years ago yesterday the New York Mets won the World Series

And it was a weekday, and the news spread across the dark-olive yellow seats of the school bus with more electricity than the revelation of a snow day, and we hoisted our bodies out of windows to carry the news, and we cheered because all children are underdogs and we identified with this unlikely triumph. Finally, after early childhood mumbles and toys that seemed like baby toys alongside the new baseball mitts and clean crisp baseball cards of our 1969 world, we had found an adult voice, with which we burped eternal cheers and the confident shale of statistics. Let me say again that in that beautiful year, age 7 and informally exempt from understanding the joys of Woodstock and formally immune from the darkness of Vietnam and completely susceptible to the extreme high of the moon shot, my homunculus, my sense of self as a fully formed adult inside a small-persons body, is born in Shea Stadium’s deep bowl, and forever Shea’s smell of stale beer and air-borne cigarette smoke would be the smell of adulthood; and every detail of Baseball ’69 gave me new language and assigned thoughts to words and emotions to thoughts.

I was alive prior to 1969, I just don’t remember it. The New York Mets were the agent of my memory; before that everything is just scraps. But New York Mets, you were my first Kinks, my first Beatles, my first kiss in a Spring Street doorway, my first time I heard the Ramones or the Velvet Underground, my first first that I can attach language too, that I can assign an adult feeling to, my first sequence of events fully bronzed into memory where there is a before and an after and, thanks to the New York Mets, an always.

Repoz Posted: October 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-17-2014

Pittsburgh Press, October 17, 1914:

Reuben N. Oldring, left fielder of the Philadelphia American League baseball team, and Miss Hannah A. Thomas of Bridgeton, N.J., were married by a magistrate [in Philadelphia] today. Oldring is under bail to answer charges of desertion and non-support preferred against him by a Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) girl shortly before the opening of the world’s series games with the Boston Nationals. He denied a prior marriage to the license clerk.

I know it’s gossipy and has nothing to do with baseball, but I feel like reading these sorts of stories turns a pile of statistics into a human being.

Anyhoo, according to Oldring’s SABR bio, census records from 1910 are unclear but suggest he may well have been married already. Regardless, the matter was quietly resolved and Rube’s marriage to the new Mrs. Oldring lasted nearly half a century.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 17, 2014 at 06:55 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rube oldring

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-16-2014

Pittsburgh Press, October 16, 1914:

MACKMEN DUE FOR SHAKEUP

Plank, Bender, Oldring and Coombs Are Likely to Be Dropped from Athletics’ Roster

...And now it can be set down indisputably that changes in Connie Mack’s team are coming. The lineup of 1915 will most likely miss the burly form of big Rube Oldring, of the veteran Eddie Plank and some few of their teammates.
...
Early in the present season it is alleged that Mack stated that he wished neither Plank, Coombs nor Bender was connected with his twirling string. In the case of at least two of this trio Mack’s wishes will probably be fulfilled.
...
[The presence of Plank and Bender] on the team serves as a sort of a handicap to Mack as it retards the youngsters development.

Hindsight is 20/20, but that seems like a really good problem to have: “My two Hall of Fame ace starting pitchers are making it harder for me to develop young pitching.”

Anyway, Mack did completely blow up his roster over the coming offseason, and the Athletics went 43-109 in 1915. 96% of the innings thrown by the Athletics in 1915 came from pitchers who were 25 years old or younger.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 16, 2014 at 09:38 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: chief bender, connie mack, dugout, eddie plank, history

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-15-2014

Milwaukee Journal, October 15, 1914:

More than $100,000 was lost and won by local [New York] sporting men through the failure of the Giants to win the National league pennant, and the subsequent failure of the Athletics to win the world’s series. The heaviest loser locally was Arnold Rothstein, who is said to have dropped $75,000. He bet heavily on the Giants to win the pennant, and then laid against the Braves in the world series.

I imagine he won that money back betting on the World Series five years later.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 15, 2014 at 08:14 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-14-2014

Toledo News-Bee, October 14, 1914:

Mrs. Ed Konetchy, wife of the Pittsburg Pirate first baseman, on Wednesday admitted that she engineered the deal by which Koney transferred his affections from the Pirates to the Pittsburg Feds. Koney, she said, is to receive $7,500 a year on a three-year contract. The Pittsburg Feds gave her $1,000 for persuading Konetchy to jump, she said. Hans Wagner will play first in Koney’s place next year.

Konetchy isn’t famous, but he was one of the better first basemen in pro baseball during the last years of the dead ball era.

He finished in the top ten in his league in position player WAR five times, put up a career OPS+ of 123, and racked up 2,150 career hits. That career hit total ties him on the leaderboard with Yogi Berra, about halfway between Keith Hernandez and Dale Murphy.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, ed konetchy, history

Monday, October 13, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-13-2014

El Paso Herald, October 13, 1914:

BOSTON WINS WORLD’S CHAMPIONSHIP

BRAVES CAPTURE FOURTH STRAIGHT GAME BY 3 TO 1

The Boston Braves are the world’s baseball champions of 1914. The defeat of the Philadelphia Athletics today by the score of 3 to 1, gave Boston the series with four straight games, the champions of the American league not capturing a contest.
...
A new world’s record for world’s series games was established, as Boston won four straight games. In 1907 the Chicago Cubs beat the Detroit Tigers four straight, but had to play five games to win the series, the first being tied—3 to 3.

There wouldn’t be another four-game World Series sweep until the ‘27 Yankees whitewashed the Pirates.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 13, 2014 at 08:20 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, October 10, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-10-2014

United Press via Toledo News-Bee, October 10, 1914:

Continuing their whirlwind play, George Stallings’ Boston Braves annexed the second game of the world’s series from Connie Mack’s Athletics.
...
The Braves had dug up an additional mascot. A young man dressed in a brilliant red costume, such as picture books and stage Inians wear, was on the job at the Boston bench. He was adorned with war feathers and what appeared to be some unfortunate horse’s tail, hung down over his shoulders.
...
A beauteous young woman appeared before the Brave bench and presented Hank Gowdy with a traveling bag just before the game was called [to start].

Boston won the game 1-0 behind a two hit shutout from Seattle Bill James.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 10, 2014 at 08:13 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-9-2014

United Press via Toledo News-Bee, October 9, 1914:

George Stallings, manager of the Boston Braves, appeased his desire for punching some one’s head today, when a fan became overserious in expressing his praise of the Athletics in Stallings’ presence. The unlucky fan was P.J. Callahan, who wore a tourist badge.

“We’ll show them,” chortled Callahan, kidding the Brave players in the lobby of the Majestic hotel. Then he ambled over to Stallings and repeated. Stallings grabbed Callahan and threw him into the street. Then the Braves’ manager ambled back to an easy chair and lighted a cigar.

I love that phrase: “Appeased his desire for punching some one’s head”.

Anyway, after literally punching some one’s head, Stallings and the Braves figuratively punched the Athletics, winning Game One of the World Series 7-1.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 09, 2014 at 09:40 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, george stallings, history

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-8-2014

Milwaukee Sentinel, October 8, 1914:

Things began to move rapidly Wednesday in preparation for the opening game of the series for the baseball championship of the world.
...
The so called tuning up process Wednesday of the present world’s champions and the winners of the National league pennant was of a mild character. Neither Connie Mack nor Manager Stallings premitted his men to do any extended work.
...
Some of the rooters of the world’s champions are becoming anxious over McInnis, the first baseman. About ten days ago he was struck on his throwing hand by a pitched ball in St. Louis and has not played in a game since, although he has appeared in practice.

McInnis was fine, though it’s not like the World Series would have gone any worse for Philadelphia if he’d been unable to play.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 08, 2014 at 09:49 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, stuffy mcinnis

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Dead Ball Century

At this rate baseball won’t last another two hundred years.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 07, 2014 at 05:08 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-7-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, October 7, 1914:

J. Carlisle (Red) Smith, star third baseman of the champion Boston Nationals, is in St. Mary’s Hospital, Brooklyn, suffering from a badly fractured and dislocated right leg. He sustained his injury in the ninth inning of [yesterday’s] doubleheader at Ebbets Field. Attending physicians are hopeful that Smith’s career has not been ruined, but they are still doubtful.
...
[Dr. Herbert Casey] reported an anterior dislocation of the ankle joint of the right leg, and a fracture of the fibula three inches above the joint. There is also a fracture of the tibia near the external malleolus and ruptures of the external and internal lateral ligaments of the ankle joint.
...
[Braves manager George Stallings] will choose Charles Deal for third base [in the World Series].

Man, that’s rough, losing a star to a catastrophic injury on the last day of the season as you’re getting ready for your first World Series in decades.

Miraculously, Smith appears to have fully recovered quickly from what sounds like a gruesome injury. He played in all 157 games for the 1915 Braves, putting up 34 doubles and a 113 OPS+. For their part, the Braves didn’t miss a beat in the World Series without their star third sacker, sweeping Philadelphia and outscoring them 16-6 in the process.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 07, 2014 at 08:24 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, red smith

Monday, October 06, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-6-2014

Pittsburgh Press, October 6, 1914:

When you applaud a ball player who has just made a great catch and yell “Good boy, Jones!” maybe you are applauding a man named Bascom. There are now 32 players in the major and minor leagues known to be playing under assumed names. How many others are using nom de bats is hard to tell. Many of them are college boys who started professional careers under false names and kept them after becoming well known.

The principal reason for the change of name is family objections to base ball as a profession.

Man, how weird would it be if players these days were playing under false names?

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 06, 2014 at 09:34 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, October 03, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-3-2014

Pittsburgh Press, October 3, 1914:

As soon as all the glamor and stress of the world’s series is over, Bob Shawkey, Connie Mack’s esteemed slab artist with the Athletics, is going to marry H. Mason Clapp, who became known as “The Tiger Lady” four years ago when, ere a tempestuous honeymoon was scarcely over, she was arrested for shooting her husband in the neck during an argument about whether one’s bedroom windows should be kept open or closed.
...
Mrs. Clapp, like her husband, was well known prior to the shooting of four years ago. A massive robe of tiger skins and a toque to match gained her the title of “Tiger Lady” when she wore them about town in an automobile.

Kris Benson and Chuck Finley like the cut of Shawkey’s jib.

You’ll no doubt be unsurprised to learn that the Shawkey-Tiger Lady marriage didn’t work out, and they got a divorce in June 1918.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 03, 2014 at 08:27 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: bob shawkey, dugout, history

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-2-2014

Pittsburgh Press, October 2, 1914:

Umpire Klem established what is believed to be a precedent in baseball yesterday in the game between the Boston and New York National league teams. In the seventh inning, while the Giants were at bat, Klem took exception to what he regarded as unusually loud talk on the New York bench. He ordered the players to lower their voices.

Deciding presently that he had not been obeyed, Klem directed that the bench be cleared of everybody except Acting Manager Mike Donlin and the batboy. Christy Mathewson headed the banished players and they marched single file, hands on one another’s shoulders, across the field to the club house, imitating in their progress the so-called lockstep required of convicts in some prison.

If this were school, he’d have just flipped the light switch a few times.

Also, I wonder what would have happened if someone had gotten hurt. Does he allow one of the banished players to return? Does the batboy get to play?

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 02, 2014 at 10:30 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Peter Gammons: Royals steal A’s thunder, giving baseball its first taste of the postseason

Vintage Gammons.

Yost has been skewered for bringing Yordano Ventura into that sixth inning situation, and with the depth of his bullpen and the fact it was not a clean situation, it might well have been a questionable move, a move Buck Showalter may well make against the Tigers with Kevin Gausman, just as Brad Ausmus will use Anibal Sanchez for the third relief appearance of his career before the end of the ALDS.

These are no computer rotisserie games. They are now October games played beneath second decks. Bill Buckner was a better first baseman than Dave Stapleton, Gene Mauch knew at noon in Milwaukee in 1982 that Sanchez was going to pitch to Cecil Cooper and not Andy Hassler, the Mark Langston pitch to Tino Martinez was a strike, and in Game Six of the 1985 NLDS Tommy Lasorda went to the mound and reminded Tom Niedenfuer of Jerry Stephenson’s scouting report that read, “with men on base, never throw Jack Clark a fastball.” Niedenfuer threw one, anyway.

Gone.

And if Niedenfuer hadn’t gotten too smart, the Royals might never have won that World Series and now wouldn’t have a four game post-season winning streak.

 

Guapo Posted: October 01, 2014 at 03:18 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: history, royals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-1-2014

Milwaukee Journal, October 1, 1914:

Dr. John Lavan, who is shortstopping for the Browns, has set one world’s record anyway. He is the only ball player who ever took the degree of doctor of medicine after participating in a world’s series. Lavan belonged to the Browns last year but was traded to Connie Mack with the agreement that he should be returned to the Browns this season. So Johnny drew $3,000 for being on the Athletics’ pay roll, though he did no playing against the Giants in the championship contests. Then he returned to the University of Michigan and got his diploma as a doctor.
...
He is 24 years old and can play the piano with skill. When he gets through shortstopping he expects to become a regular sawbones.

Lavan wasn’t much of a hitter (.245/.288/.308, 74 OPS+ career in 1163 games) but was a good defensive shortstop. He appeared on the league dWAR leaderboard five times in his seven seasons as a regular (90+ appearances) SS.

I’m not sure how he was as a physician.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 01, 2014 at 08:28 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: doc lavan, dugout, history

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2014

Philadelphia Evening Ledger, September 30, 1914:

The guy in the silly pointy helmet lost this war too.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 30, 2014 at 08:13 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, September 29, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-29-2014

Pittsburgh Press, September 29, 1914:

C.L. Herzog, manager of the Cincinnati Nationals, was indefinitely suspended by [National League] President Tener because of an “insulting telegram” received at the office of the league in New York from the Cincinnati manager.
...
Gov. Tener…stated that Herzog would remain under suspension until he has made a suitable apology.

“Governor Tener. Stop. You’re a big stinky poopy head. Stop. Your mother wears army boots. Stop.”

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 29, 2014 at 09:57 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: buck herzog, dugout, history

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Posnanski: A Royals Toast

I think of a time when a genial man named Herk Robinson, as general manager, wanted to hire an artist to paint the Royals players in action in order to help the scouts. When told that the scouts already had something called video, which rather precisely transferred reality to a television screen, Robinson said yes, but art, true art, can transcend reality…

The drought wasn’t the thing. Yes, it had been 29 years since the Royals last reached the postseason — and baseball has completely turned upside down in those 29 years. The game has made the divisions smaller, added wildcards, rearranged the schedule, made it all but impossible for a team to NOT go to the postseason at least every now and again. The Royals would not go. But the drought wasn’t the thing — it was the hopelessness surrounding the drought. The Royals did not come close to the postseason. The Royals did things so mind boggling that the postseason seemed as far away as flying cars and trips to another galaxy…

I think of a Royals player falling off first base like a cut down tree, and I think of another climbing the centerfield wall only to see the ball bounce off the warning track in front of him, and I think of two Royals players jogging to the dugout, each thinking the other would catch the ball which landed softly and happily in the grassy area they had left behind. I think of a player not wearing sunglasses, losing a ball in the sun and having it hit him in the face — he wore sunglasses on the plane right home to cover the shiner. I think of a pitcher so frustrated that he complained to the press that he can’t even get no-decisions.

The Royals, those Royals, are going to the playoffs.

The District Attorney Posted: September 27, 2014 at 10:18 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: history, joe posnanski, postseason, royals

Friday, September 26, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-26-2014

Rock Island Argus, September 26, 1914:

Dick Rudolph has earned the title of “Big Little Man” of baseball. Not content with hurling a shutout against the Cincinnati Reds [two days ago], winning by 5 to 0, the Brave pitching star came back yesterday and chalked up nine more scoreless innings against Herzog’s men, the Braves copping by 2 to 0. With only a night’s rest after the his first effort, Rudolph came back even stronger in the second attempt, accomplishing a feat seldom equalled or even attempted by big league hurlers.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

The article also talks about the Ray Collins of the Red Sox having pitched complete game wins in both games of a doubleheader on September 22, 1914, but suggests that what Rudolph did was more impressive because he had to come back the next day after his arm had tightened up.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 26, 2014 at 08:08 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dick rudolph, dugout, history, ray collins

Thursday, September 25, 2014

BtBS: Paul Konerko’s Greatest Hits

About that other retiring AL player this year.

Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: September 25, 2014 at 05:44 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-25-2014

Rock Island Argus, September 25, 1914:

BOSTON WINS AGAIN AND NOW HAS A 7 GAME LEAD

The Braves had another double bill with the Cincinnati Reds yesterday. They took advantage of the occasion by winning one game and in going eight innings to a 2-to-2 the score in the second...Seven games now separate the Braves from their pursuers.

New York lost the fifth straight game yesterday when it fell before St. Louis, the score being 4 to 3.

I think the Giants’ collapse is often overlooked in the story of the Miracle Braves. Boston was admittedly incredible down the stretch, but the McGrawites completely faceplanted. New York was 51-32 (.614) on July 26, 1914. They went 33-38 (.465) the rest of the season.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 25, 2014 at 10:32 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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